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Porcupine Tree - Signify CD (album) cover

SIGNIFY

Porcupine Tree

 

Heavy Prog

3.81 | 859 ratings

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Shakespeare
3 stars Signify was the last purely psychedelic release by Porcupine Tree - sort of. There are still loads of psychedelic moments, and ambient-influence in their newer music, but this type of stuff is the end of the truly drugged-out years. Most people will discover these earlier Porc Tree albums after enjoying their newer outputs. We can clearly see how much the band has evolved since the early days, and though we all have our preferences, both eras are important in the band's development, and both are extremely influential.

From the crushingly simple riffs of the more aggressive songs, to the spaced out cosmic choruses of the slower numbers, to the sinister synthesizer voices of the ambient tracks, every moment on this brilliant album is a powerful atmospheric ride. And these riffs aren't meager space-rock riffs: they're destroyingly brutal metal riffs, complemented by countless methods of atmospheric immersion. There's even a large amount of recorded voices of pastors/preachers speaking about their respective religion (normally Christianity, it would seem), which adds another psychedelic layer of atmosphere. I'm assuming this is illustrating Steven Wilson's detest for organized religion? Or perhaps his aim is to convince us to have our own personal beliefs? Or perhaps Wilson is just simply throwing it in there for textural purposes? I can never be sure, no matter how many times I hear the songs and read the lyrics, I can never be certain what the message (so to speak) is. Musically, the album is great and varied (as always). All the musicianship and melodies are above average. The Waiting series is a good example of Steven Wilson's ability to write extraordinary melodies, and develop an entire song around them, and a perfect demonstration of his excellent voice. The percussion throughout the album is extremely hypnotic, and drumming ain't too shabby. Being used to the latter Pork Tree days with Harrison, I tend to listen to Maitland with a bit of prejudice, but if truth be told, he's an excellent drummer as well.

Compared to previous Tofu Bush albums, this one has a bit more structured songs. Before, they had the occasional pop-music-structured song, but here they have more rock songs, with very strong metal influence (which will become an important part of their sound, later on). But there are still plenty of genuine psychedelic moments, which I, for one, am extremely grateful for. Consider this a very high 3 star.

Shakespeare | 3/5 |

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